Applying for postgraduate programs can be tough, but applying from another country 3000 miles away can make it even harder! If you’re interested in Cardiff’s Conservation Practice MSc program but are feeling overwhelmed by the application process, fret not! I was in the same position this time last year and was so confused about applications and visas, it ended up taking me months to complete everything. But hopefully after reading this post with what you need written out clearly, you will not have to worry and will be finished your application in no time!
First things first is creating an account for your online application for the Conservation Practice program. This link will take you to the course page where you can start your application: https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/conservation-practice-msc
The Cardiff University application site is very user-friendly so once your account is made, your main menu shows everything that you need to upload. These include:
- Personal Information
- Visa Information
- Professional Experience
- Personal Statement
- Personal Information and Marketing
- Professional Recommendations
The sections like your personal information, qualification, and professional experience are all straightforward. All you have to do is upload your resume or CV as well as diplomas and transcripts you have from any previous degrees or programs. If you have any professional social media accounts, you have the opportunity to supply those as well.
In addition to uploading those documents, you will also need to upload two letters of recommendation. They can be from professors or supervisors, someone who has seen your conservation, archeological, or historical skills shine in the classroom or the workplace! Your personal statement will back up their supportive words and your past records by you yourself telling Cardiff University why you are qualified for this program and why you want to join us.
While this part of the application did take me some time, what I was most confused about was getting a visa. I had no idea which visa I needed to apply for, how to apply for it, and what documents I would even need. All of these questions took me hours of googling and following endless unhelpful web links to figure out the visa application process and what I would need. After lots of searching, I applied for a Tier 4 (general student) visa. Please follow this link to learn more about making an account and starting your Tier 4 visa application: https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa.
In order to apply for this visa, you first need to be accepted into the Conservation Practice program (so make sure to complete your application in a timely fashion!). Once you receive your acceptance and then accept your offer, you will receive your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number, which will act as part of your proof of sponsorship. In addition to this number you will need:
- Proof of your current residence
- A current driver’s license or federal government ID
- Financial documents
- A bank statement in your/your parent’s name showing that you have enough funds to cover the cost of living
- Proof of sponsorship
- Acceptance letter from Cardiff University with CAS number
- Any previous diplomas and transcripts
- Biometric enrolment appointment paperwork
- You will have to go to a designated office in your state to get fingerprinted and have your picture taken for your Biometric Residence Permit (UK ID)
Copies of all of these documents below will either have to be uploaded online or sent in with your passport when you have completed your visa application. It is recommended to do this at least a couple of months before the program starts to give your passport enough to time to come back with your entry visa inside (once you get to the UK, you will go to a designated post office to pick up your Biometric Residence Permit). I highly suggest starting this process as soon as you can or else you’ll have to pay extra to have your application rushed through like I did! Once your passport is sent back to you, you can breathe a sigh of relief as that is definitely the hardest part of the application process.
With what you need for your Cardiff online application and tier 4 visa written out, hopefully your application will be completed soon and we’ll see you in Cardiff in the fall!